Kate McKinstry

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Eurydice learns about snake bites

It’s a matter of safety and practical scouting.
She can light a fire and build a bivvie, sing
a national anthem in two languages. She can
sew on a button and semaphore
messages back to land. She can practise
CPR, and is ready to save a life, even her own.

There are many things she knows.

Tonight she will unstitch the edges of her eyelids
and let her crocodile brain take cold-blooded pleasure
from deep inside.

The unstitching begins with the needle
and thread beneath recycled crochet blankets.

       Can you hear me?
       Open your eyes.
       What is your name?
       Squeeze my finger.

Her body will unwind on ceramic tiles
and slide underneath the bathroom door
to ready itself for the curiosity
of initiation. She has prepared for the unconscious.
Becoming and repeating the spell.

       Can you hear me?

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